Introduction

Corpus Linguistics is now seen as the study of linguistic phenomena through large collections of machine-readable texts: corpora. These are used within a number of research areas going from the descriptive study of the morphology of a language to prosody or language learning, to mention but a few, not to mention many other related disciplines and fields: translation, automatic translation, special languages, information retrieval, word sense disambiguation.

The use of real examples of texts in the study of language is not a new issue in the history of linguistics. However, corpus linguistics has developed considerably in the last decades due to the great possibilities offered by the processing of natural language with computers. The availability of computers and machine-readable text has made it possible to get data quickly and easily and also to have this data presented in a format suitable for analysis.
Corpus linguistics is, however, not the same as mainly obtaining language data through the use of computers. Corpus linguistics is the study and analysis of data obtained from a corpus. The main task of the corpus linguist is not to find the data but to analyse it. Computers are useful, and sometimes indispensable, tools used in this process.

This volume aims to present a kaleidoscope of recent developments in the field of corpus linguistics and corpus-based research, conciliating the expectations of language engineering with the goals of academic research.
This special edition would not have been possible without the collaboration of all the contributors. Once again, many thanks to all of you. Naturally, all blunders, bloopers and other blemishes in the final editing are entirely due to us.

Aquilino Sánchez
Pascual Cantos
Editors